A MacBook-iPad hybrid in the works?

A Macbook, Ipad hyprid is potentially in the worksDrawing from Apple patent application

Apple has filed an application with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for a computer comprised of a base and a display that could be selectively removed from the base. The design would enable the base to wirelessly transmit data to the display; the display could also be charged wirelessly from a power source in the base.

The application states that the invention "relates generally to electronic devices, and more specifically, to portable electronic devices."

An overview of the device describes how it could be used:

"When connected or coupled to the base, the display may be rotatable and may pivot from an open position to a closed position. When disconnected or decoupled from the base, the display may be positioned in substantially any manner suitable by the user for viewing the display."

One might envision a hybrid of the MacBook laptop and the iPad tablet. The website Patently Apple, which has been predicting that touch displays will come to the Mac platform eventually, described the device as having "a very cool display with a retractable magnetic mechanism that hides itself once detached from the MacBook's main body."

A CNET News report noted that current "convertible" devices such as Lenovo's Yoga and Dell's XPS 12, both of which run on Microsoft Windows, "are nothing new, but they've never really caught on."

A differentiator for the Apple design, according to CNET, could be its wireless charging capability. The news source said Apple has applied for three patents since 2011 for wireless technology that would: (1) charge an iOS device by keeping it close to a computer; (2) charge devices while they sat in boxes on store shelves; and (3) charge iPads using a "smart cover."

Image credit: Apple via U.S. Patent & Trademark Office